In Part I of my “Power of Integrated Marketing” series I wrote about developing your website — the foundation of your online marketing strategy. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to move on to Step 2 — staying in touch with the leads you’ve worked so hard to generate through your website. And then to Step 3 — setting up a blog to establish yourself as an expert (a good way to convert leads to clients) and to drive additional traffic to your site where anonymous visitors can become leads.
Step 2: Stay in touch with your leads through e-mail marketing
Leads are like gold; once you’ve generated them, don’t let them slip away. While you can – and should – develop your website to encourage leads to keep coming back (and to become clients) you should also more actively engage those leads. One great way to do that is through e-mail marketing.
Set up an autoresponder system that automatically sends a “Welcome” e-mail to everyone who inputs their e-mail address on your website. In that welcome e-mail, tell your lead why she should become a client (what are the benefits for her).
Develop an e-mail marketing campaign that automatically sends an e-mail to that lead every week (or twice a week, or every other week – whatever frequency you find works best). In your e-mails, offer a mix of valuable information that will help your lead as she looks to buy or sell a home as well as information about how you can help her do that. An easy way to develop relevant, fresh e-mail content is to use the articles you post on your website, or the content you post to your blog.
Step 3: Set up a blog to direct prospects to your website
Because the number of websites on the web is absolutely astronomical (Google’s index of unique URLs reached 1 trillion last year), you need a way to drive traffic to yours. One good way to do that – and to generate additional leads and build your brand at the same time – is by creating a blog (and regularly posting interesting, valuable content). Your blog should act as a conduit that funnels readers to your website (where they give you their contact information and become leads).
There are a number of ways you can set up your blog:
- Hosted on your own website. This is ideal because then all traffic – to your blog and to your main site – is going to the same root URL (so your blog URL would be www.yourwebsite.com/blog), which helps to strengthen your place in the search engines. Many website hosting companies offer a blog add-on, or you can set it up through a service like WordPress or TypePad.
- Hosted through a free service like Google’s Blogger (WordPress also offers a free version) or BiggerPockets.
Once you’ve developed your blog, you’re only part of the way there, though; simply having a blog is not enough. You have to work hard to build a regular readership and to entice new readers. You can do that by becoming active in the “blogosphere.” Read other real estate blogs. Comment on their posts. While it’s not PC to put your URL in your comment, most bloggers will include your name and URL with your comment. Getting engaged with other bloggers builds goodwill in the community and drives traffic back to your own blog.
Look for other sites where you can be a guest blogger. Sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow offer guest blog spots (or allow you to create your own blog) – which is a great way to access a huge audience, to show them what you have to offer, and to (implicitly) invite them to read your regular posts on your own blog.
Stay tuned for next week’s Step 4: Leverage social media. Until then. . .
Onward and upward.
Note From the Editor: We are always looking for guest blog posts here on The BiggerPockets Blog as well.